Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lessons Learned Already This Week...And It's Only Tuesday!

I've said it before but I absolutely LOVE being a Mom.  I really really do, but it's a tough job and one I feel so inadequate for at times.  It's tough because it takes unconditional love, understanding, patience, humility, sacrifice...basically a lot of the things I lack the most!  The hardest part about being a parent, I think, is having to sit back and watch your children go through trials and hardships...things that are difficult for them to work through on their own.  You KNOW they can do it on their own, it's just so hard to watch.  Your first inclination is to dive in and make it all better.  You want to be "Mama Bear" and chase away all the mean people, take away all the disabilities, and heal all the broken hearts.  Your second inclination is to ask, why??  Why do they have to go through these things?  Why does anyone have to go through hardships and trials.  I've asked myself that a hundred times this morning, and yet, I KNOW the answer.  Because our ultimate mission in life is to come to earth and receive a body, to be tried and tested, and to prove ourselves worthy to return once again to our heavenly home.  I've come to understand that our trials not only shape our character, but show us our character as well.  When we have trials a lot of the time its for us to learn something about ourselves.  It's just like the quote I posted this week, which I didn't really think about when I posted it, I just really liked it.  Talk about foreshadowing!  Someone knew exactly what I personally needed to get me through the week this week!    "Remember:  you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."  Sometimes it just takes going through something really challenging before we realize what we're fully capable of.  Our trials make us stronger.  We need to have faith that these trials we go through in life are for our benefit.  I guess that means life can't be faith-filled and stress-free!  But I'd much rather take the stress if it strengthens my faith.  It's still hard to have to sit back and watch your children struggle though .  Imagine how our Heavenly Father feels when he sits back and watches us struggle through our individual trials.  But as any loving parent, he knows us, he loves us,  and he knows that we are capable of getting through anything and he is always there to help us.  I have faith in this and know this is true.  My children will get through their trials and as a Mom I'll be there for them in any way that I can.  As heartbreaking as it can be to watch - I know they'll come out braver, smarter, and stronger.  We all will!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Go Team U.S.A.!

Go team U.S.A.!  How amazing is it that we get to witness history being made pretty near to our own backyard? (relatively speaking!)  We've enjoyed watching the coverage of the Olympics this last week.  And with the basketball season ended it's given us something to occupy all that free time with.  (I forget how much of our time basketball season takes up until it's over.)  I'm amazed at the abilities and strength of these athletes.  I've always wished I could be athletic! Unlike my superstar husband (yes honey, I hold bragging rights  :),  I wasn't blessed with ANY athletic ability but always wished I had even the tiniest sliver.  I do, however, enjoy being a semi-professional spectator! (If only I could get paid for watching sports!!)  I'm also amazed at the dedication, determination, and sacrifices of  these athletes and their families.  The stories we've seen and heard have been inspirational to say the least.  What a truly uplifting experience and a great way to spend some quality family time during these last (hopefully last!) few chilly evenings of winter!  Thanks Team U.S.A.!

Monday, February 8, 2010


I read a quote this morning; it went something like this, "How do you spell LOVE to your children?  T. I. M. E."  I thought a lot about that this morning.  Am I spending "time" with my children?  Real time? Am I spending enough time?  How am I spending that time?  Am I wasting that time?  Am I making the most of that time?  Do my children enjoy that time?  Will there always be more time?  I hope I'm making the most of that time...and continue to make the most of that time even when they've grown and gone and we have little ones running around that call us "Gramma" and "Gumpy" (yes, that's what we want to be called by our grandkids.  And hey, at our age you start to think about those things!).  I want to make the most of that time too.  I never want to miss out on a chance to spend time together when our children are grown either.  Even if all we can fit in between our busy lives and theirs is an afternoon here and there.   I feel sad for those who don't take that time.  Do they realize what they're missing?  I love being a mom.  I want to be the best mom I can be.  And when the time comes, I want to be the best gramma I can be.  (I had a terrific example of a gramma and have a lot to live up to!) I've enjoyed the time so far, even though I may not have always used it wisely.  You know those commercials that make you all teary eyed that say, "Family....It's about...TIME"?  Well, they couldn't be more true.  Think about it...It really is about T.I.M.E.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's the small and simple things...

This year our stake presidency gave us a challenge to "Come unto Christ by consistently obeying him in small and simple things."  We decided that one of the small and simple things we would work on would be holding regular Family Home Evenings.  This is no small feat in our home, let me tell ya!  We decided to start the year by sharing the stake presidency's message with our family and this has been the "theme" in our Family Home Evenings for the past month.  (Which we now actually refer to as "Family Home Morning".  Since we don't have church until 2:00 now, we've decided to take advantage.  I have to say it's worked out better than I thought...and much less stressful than trying to find an evening where everyone is home.  And breakfast is our favorite refreshment!)  We've been talking about how "through small and simple things great things shall come to pass".  For the month of January we decided to focus on doing small and simple things through service.  We challenged our family to do a small and simple act of service each week and then report back the following week.  It's been fun to hear the different things they've done throughout the month.  But I think the biggest reward has been watching them grow as they learn the importance of service and being an example to others.  In the beginning we heard a few moans and groans and they didn't think this was going to be a great experience, but they've since been excited to report back on their little acts of service throughout the month and their attitudes about service have changed completely.   It was Nicki's turn to give the lesson yesterday.  She did a fantastic job.  At the end of her lesson she presented the family with an empty jar and gave us the challenge of continuing to do the small and simple things, but this time when we did something she wanted us to put a small coin into the jar.  When the jar is filled through our acts of small and simple service, then we will go out as a family and get a special treat.  It was my thinking that this month we would move on to a different "activity", but they've had such a great time doing this that they want to keep it going.  This has taught me a huge lesson.....in the "small and simple" thing of trying to be obedient in having our Family Home Evening, we have had a fantastic experience, have been able to watch our children learn and grow in the gospel, have been able to watch them grow to love simply serving others, and as a family we truly feel closer to Christ.  That jar, that small and simple jar, now sits on our kitchen counter as a reminder to not only serve others, but that obedience truly does bring forth blessings.